Johnny Orr statue with mask

A masked Johnny Orr statue stands in the intake area while testers wait at Iowa State University’s COVID-19 testing center inside Johnny’s at Hilton Coliseum. 

As students return to classes at Iowa State, changes have occurred when it comes to COVID-19 around the Ames community. Here’s an updated COVID-19 guide:

Where to get tested for COVID-19:

  • Iowa State University: Students, faculty and staff can continue to get tested for COVID-19 for free at Johnny’s at Hilton Coliseum. Appointments can be made online or over the phone at 515-294-5801, option nine. 

  • Test Iowa: Mary Greeley Medical Center runs the Story County Test Iowa Clinic. Those wishing to get tested through Test Iowa must first fill out an assessment on the Test Iowa website. Once qualified for the test, appointments can be scheduled at 800-866-3492. The clinic is located at 1501 E. Lincoln Way.

  • Pharmacies: Select pharmacies around Ames offer COVID-19 testing including Hy-Vee and Walgreens.

  • Rapid testing: Health Gauge offers rapid COVID-19 testing. Appointments can be booked on their website.

Where to get an antibody test:

  • LifeServe Blood Center is offering free COVID-19 antibody tests with every blood donation. Appointments are required prior to donation and can be made on the LifeServe website. 


Widespread vaccinations are currently unavailable to the public. Iowa is currently vaccinating individuals categorized as Phase 1A. This phase includes health care providers and long-term care residents.

Phase 1B will begin Feb. 1, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, and is split into five tiers due to low vaccine availability. Individuals age 65 and older are eligible for vaccination during any tier. 

The first tier includes first responders, school staff, early childhood education and child care workers. 

Front-line essential workers in food, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing who live or work in settings where social distancing is not possible, those with disabilities that live in home settings and their care staff comprise the second tier.

The third tier will include those that live in a congregate setting that have not been previously vaccinated and government officials and staff that work at the State Capitol. Students living in college dormitories are not included.

The final two tiers are made up of hospital, long-term care and child care inspectors and correctional facility staff as well as those incarcerated.


In total, the state of Iowa has reported at least 313,485 COVID-19 cases and 4,487 deaths as a result of COVID-19. Over the last two weeks, the state’s positivity rate has been 7.1 percent.

Story County has reported at least 8,816 cases and 38 deaths. 

At least 273,760 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, though this number does not account for any long-term conditions caused by the virus. 

There are 415 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state of Iowa. Of those patients, 78 are in the intensive care unit. There are 39.02 percent of inpatient beds available.

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